Countdown to Craziness takes place this Saturday, October 22 and the start time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. For many fans, it will be the first time they will get to see the Duke basketball team in action.
For those who can’t be in attendance, you can subscribe for a month to the Blue Devil Network for just $10. That will give you access to watch CTC and the first two exhibition games against Virginia State and Augustana, which you can only watch in person or on BDN.
If you have access to ESPN3, you’ll be able to watch Countdown to Craziness in full for the first time. In the past, ESPN has done live look-ins, but this will be the first time the network has shown it in full.
Here are the tentative start times for Sat. night:
- 6 p.m. – Doors open for students
- 6:15 p.m. – Doors open for general public
- 7:55 p.m. – National anthem
- 8 p.m. – Introduction of the 2016-17 Blue Devils
- 8:25 p.m. – Blue-White Scrimmage
What to Expect?
If you have never watched Countdown to Craziness before, what can you expect? Typically, there are a few different games for the students to win prizes. There are also a few different performances by various student groups.
For most Duke fans, the fun really begins with player intros. Every year, the Blue Devils do something special that fans are sure to enjoy:
After intros, the players are split into the white and blue teams who are coached by the assistant coaches. The white team, coached by Jeff Capel last year, is typically who you’ll see as the starting five to begin the season. Last year, Jon Scheyer coached the blue team. The teams play two 10-minute halves.
At halftime, the team presents the “Iron Blue Devil Belt” to the men’s basketball player who excels in summer workouts along with preseason conditioning. Coach K also speaks to the crowd and the team recognizes a member of the Duke family for recent accomplishments. Last year, Nobel Prize laureates Paul Modrich and Robert Lefkowitz were honored.
At the start of the second half, you’ll notice that a few players will swap teams. Coach K likes to see how well certain groups play together.
Some years after the scrimmage, there has been a dunk contest. The past two years they have not had one. Given current injuries, it may be a safe bet that there will not be one again this year.
Players to Watch
Duke’s freshmen class was rated as one of the top recruiting classes for the 2016-17 season:
- Harry Giles – he is still recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and will not take part in the scrimmage.
- Jayson Tatum – many have compared him to Grant Hill who can do it all. How will he mesh with Grayson Allen?
- Frank Jackson – Duke lost it’s only point guard last year in Derryck Thornton. Will Jackson take the reins?
- Marques Bolden – Bolden was a late commit, but could possibly be the most important. He’ll give Duke a low post presence on both ends of the floor.
The Blue Devils return three players from the 2015 National Championship team:
- Grayson Allen – Allen been somewhat limited in practice recently due to a hamstring issue. Given how hard Allen goes in practice and games, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the coaches rest him more during practice to keep him fresh throughout the season.
- Amile Jefferson – he missed most of last season with a foot injury that left Duke thin in the post. He has looked good and aggressive during practices so far. He’ll be the leader on defense this season.
- Matt Jones – It seems Duke fans have a love/hate relationship with Jones. While most fans want Frank Jackson to start, expect Jones to start to begin the season. He and Allen should share point guard duties.
Recruits in Attendance
Countdown to Craziness is a big event for recruits. Many of the nation’s best prospects are in attendance. Last year Jayson Tatum, Javin DeLaurier, Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter, Tre Jones, and Immanuel Quickley got to see Duke unveil their fifth National Championship banner.
This year Trent Jr. & Carter will be attending again. Both are considered heavy Duke leans. Quade Green, who surprised many by originally saying he would attend, in fact will be heading to Syracuse for their midnight madness instead. It also have been confirmed 2018 wing Cameron Reddish and 2018 point guard Tre Jones (younger brother of Tyus Stones) will be in attendance. The #1 recruit in 2018 Zion Williamson will be visiting NC State on Fri. and stopping by Duke on Sat. There are sure to be others in attendance that have not been made public yet.
Saturday should be an exciting times for Duke fans. For many, this feels like waiting for the 2014-15 season to begin. We know how that season turned out.
If you are unable to watch this year’s Countdown to Craziness don’t worry. We’ll have a full write up, photos, and videos from the event.